MPs are demanding "urgent" new laws to ban shops from hiking up prices in an emergency.
It follows outrage at shops charging rip-off prices for goods that sold out in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, such as medicine and hand-sanitiser.
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah and Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson are among MPs .who have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, warning that some businesses responded to the pandemic "by putting up prices to excessive and sometimes extornionate levels".
Their proposed law would ban shops or suppliers from increasing prices by more than 10% when normal supplies are disrupted.
An exception would be made if businesses faced genuine additional costs. Trading standards officers, employed by local councils, would be empowered to investigate cases.
Firms found to be breaking the law would face a fine, capped at 1% of their turnover.
The laws could be introduced as an amendment to the Coronavirus Act 2020, emergency legislation that has already been approved by Parliament.
The letter, signed by 22 MPs from across the country, said: "Most businesses are behaving responsibly during this time of national crisis.
"But unfortunately, there are businesses that are choosing to exploit increased demand for certainessential products, and the morelimited ability of consumers, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, to shop around, by price-gouging."